The Hill Tribes

Bahnar - Dzao - Ede - H'mong - Jarai - Muong - Nung - Sedang - Tay - Thai

Where To Visit The Hill Tribes


Pop: 470,000
Origin: china
Area: Chinese and Lao border areas, including Sapa
Economy: rice, corn
Belief system: animism
Cultural characteristics: The Dzao (or Zao/Dao) are one of the largest and most colorful of Vietnam's ethnic groups and live in the northwestern provinces near China and Laos. The Dzao practice ancestor worship of spirits or 'Ban Ho' (no relation to Uncle Ho) and hold elaborate rituals with sacrifices of pigs and chickens. The Dzao's close proximity to China explains the common use of traditional medicine and the similarity of the Nom Dao script to Chinese characters.
The Dzao are famous for their elaborate dress. Women's clothing typically features intricate weaving and silver-coloured beads and coins - the wealth of a woman is said to be in the weight of coins she carries. Their long flowing hair, shaved above the forehead, is tied up into a large red or embroidered turban. A curious blend of skinhead and Sikh.